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What color was Catherine II s hair?

St. Petersburg Mint, 1762 Medalists T.I. Ivanov (front side); I.G. Wechter (reverse side). Silver; coinage. St. Petersburg Mint, 1767. Medalist I.G. Wechter. Silver; coinage.
St. Petersburg Mint, 1762 Silver; coinage.
Vilnius, 1620s Master Rudolf Lehmann. Silver; embossing, casting, engraving, gilding. Catherine II Alekseevna the Great (born Sophia Augusta Frederica of Anhalt-Zerbst) came to power in a palace coup on June 28, 1762, which overthrew her husband Peter III from the throne. On September 13, 1762, to the ringing of bells and the roar of cannons, the Empress made her ceremonial entry into Moscow. The streets of the capital were decorated with garlands, hanging carpets and tapestries, thick green spruce trees and many flowers. The coronation of Catherine II took place on September 22, 1762 in the Assumption Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin. After the coronation, the coronation regalia and attire of the new Russian Empress Catherine II were exhibited for eighteen days in the “former Senate chambers near the Chernigov Cathedral.” The greatest attention of visitors was attracted by the crown, in the creation of which the goldsmith G.F. Ekart, the court diamond maker J. Pozier, the goldsmith Orote, the goldsmiths I. Estifeev and I. Lipman, and the apprentice I. Nikiforov took part. The price of all the precious stones that adorned the crown at that time was two million rubles. The same goldsmith G.F. Eckart created a new state in the shortest possible time. Most likely, there was a fear that the master would not be able to complete the orb on time, work on which began no earlier than September 7, so on September 14, three orbs were “carried” from the Armory to Her Imperial Majesty’s room. One of them was returned on the same day, the second was returned to the “Greek cause” (Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich) the day after the coronation, with a silver gilded handle attached to it, and the third was returned on May 11, 1763. Three robes – brocade and two lace, gold and silver, which the empress wore on the first and second days of the audience after the coronation – were adjacent in the exhibition to the coronation dress of Catherine II, made of silver brocade and decorated with the coats of arms of the Russian Empire. All ladies were instructed to appear at the coronation in “colored rombronds”, and the holders of the Orders of St. Andrew the First-Called and St. Alexander Nevsky – in the order’s attire. Against their background, the empress’s outfit looked especially impressive, truly creating a triumphant image of imperial power. As always, representatives of the brightest royal families of Europe gathered at the court for this significant event in the history of Russia. On September 22, at about ten o’clock in the morning, to the sound of trumpets and kettledrums, a solemn procession moved towards the Assumption Cathedral. At this time, the Empress was in her inner chambers of the palace and was preparing for the sacred sacraments: anointing and communion. From the inner chambers, the empress went into the audience chamber, where the regalia prepared in advance were located. After the usual sprinkling of the royal path with holy water, the procession began from the Red Porch to the Assumption Cathedral. The Empress walked under a canopy, wearing a brocade dress decorated with gold braid and embroidered double-headed eagles. More than twenty bishops and forty archimandrites and other clergy, led by Archbishop Dimitri of Novgorod, met Catherine at the doors of the cathedral. Preceded by the entire clergy, Ekaterina Alekseevna went to the royal doors, where she venerated the holy icons, and then ascended the throne and sat on the imperial throne prepared for her. Having put on purple and the Order of St. Andrew the First-Called, she personally placed the crown on herself. At this time, a volley of cannons was heard on Red Square. This was followed by congratulations from his subjects, and Novgorod Archbishop Dimitri, on behalf of the entire Russian Fatherland, addressed the Imperial Majesty with a congratulatory speech, after which he also performed the rite of anointing on Catherine. Then Catherine went through the Royal Doors to the throne and there received the Holy Mysteries according to the royal rite. When the Empress left the Assumption Cathedral, “the whole army and all the countless people exclaimed “Hurray.” The screams continued for half an hour until the Empress gave the sign to continue the procession. In the Archangel and Annunciation Cathedrals, Catherine, according to ancient custom, bowed to the ashes of her departed ancestors and venerated the holy relics and the most revered icons, and then returned to the palace. During her march through the territory of the Kremlin, the regiments “saluted with music, drumming and dodging banners to the ground, the people shouted “Hurray”, and the noise and exclamations of joy, ringing, firing and salutation seemed to move the air, and besides, methane gases were flowing all along the way there were gold and silver coins among the people.” In the audience hall, the empress announced favors mainly to those who expressed devotion to her upon accession to the throne, as well as to those who distinguished themselves by bravery during the recent Prussian war. This was followed by a gala dinner in the Faceted Chamber in honor of the Holy Coronation of Empress Catherine II. In the evening, the Kremlin was illuminated, and people from all over Moscow gathered to watch the “fiery spectacle.” At midnight, Catherine went down to Red Square incognito to admire the illuminations, and “the people recognized her and greeted her with a loud “Hurray” until she retired to the inner chambers.” This time, a holiday for the people was organized not only on Cathedral Square, but also on Red Square.

Portrait of Catherine II

Unknown artist.
XIX century Canvas, oil.
Catherine II is presented in a generational position, her head turned towards the viewer. On the head is a small imperial diamond crown and a laurel wreath. Powdered hair falls in two long curls over her left shoulder. Diamond earrings in the ears. The Empress is wearing a dress decorated with a diamond agraph with a white satin skirt and blue ribbons descending from the waist and white lace on the chest and neck. An ermine robe made of golden fabric embroidered with double-headed eagles is draped over the shoulders. Around the neck is a diamond chain with the cross of the Order of St. Andrew the First-Called. A ribbon with a cross of the Order of St. is thrown over the right shoulder. George. On the chest, covered by the edge of the mantle, is the star of this order. In her right hand the empress holds a golden scepter. To the left of the Empress is an orb and a large imperial crown studded with diamonds and topped with a pink spinel on a red velvet pillow. On a gray pedestal there is a bronze bust of Peter I in a laurel wreath. Above the bust there is an inscription in gold letters: “What is begun he completes.”

Procession of Catherine II from the Kremlin Palace to the Assumption Cathedral for the coronation ceremony

S. Putimtsev.
Russia, 1827 (from the board of the last quarter of the XNUMXth century).
Paper; engraving with chisel.
The engraving shows a close-up view of the Faceted Chamber with the adjacent Red Porch, on which Catherine II is presented in front of the entrance to the Holy Entrance, under a canopy, accompanied by military officials. In front of her, on the steps of the porch, are the masters of ceremonies with batons, high dignitaries and military men carrying state regalia on pillows: a mantle, a state sword, a state seal. Below are three courtiers led by Chief Jägermeister S.K. Naryshkin, carrying the State Banner (paneer), two heralds and two masters of ceremonies with batons, other participants in the ceremony are court and military officials who are heading to the Assumption Cathedral between the ranks of cavalry guards standing on both sides. In the depths on the right you can see part of the southern facade of the Assumption Cathedral. The engraving was not completed, as can be seen from the unfinished figure of the Empress. The engraving on the right is signed: G. Sem: Putimtsov. The engraving is one of the illustrations for the “Detailed description of the solemn procedures for the successful entry into the imperial ancient residence, the God-saved city of Moscow, and the most sacred coronation of her most august majesty, the most serene, most sovereign, great empress, Empress Catherine the Second, autocrat of All Russia, mother and savior of the Fatherland, as the entry took place 13, coronation September 22, 1762.”

Coronation of Empress Catherine II

Russia (?), last third of the 1777th century. (not earlier than XNUMX).
Canvas, oil.
The painting is a repetition of the work of the Italian artist Stefano Torelli, in which he depicted the coronation of Empress Catherine II, which took place on September 22, 1762 in the Assumption Cathedral of the Kremlin. The action takes place in the interior of the Assumption Cathedral, the vaults and walls of which are decorated with fresco paintings. Empress Catherine II in full coronation vestments, the highest state dignitaries and hierarchs of the Russian Church are depicted at the top of the stepped platform. The painting depicts the culminating moment of the coronation – Catherine’s successive acceptance of the imperial regalia. The figurative content of the work is subordinated to the disclosure of the sacred meaning of coronation, contained in the idea of ​​divinely established monarchical power. In the minds of the Russian people, the honorary thrones located in the Assumption Cathedral served as a concentrated expression of this idea. This is a carved wooden Monomakh throne, cut off by the right edge of the canvas, created in 1551, intended for Russian tsars and emperors. Next to it is the white stone place of the heads of the Russian Church, built at the end of the XNUMXth century. On the right is a picture that appeared in the cathedral in the XNUMXth century. prayer place of Russian queens and princesses. Luxurious chandeliers (chandeliers) with burning candles complete the solemn decoration of the Assumption Cathedral.


Russia, 1762
Brocade, gold braid; weaving, weaving.
For the coronation ceremony, the floor in the Assumption Cathedral was traditionally covered with red cloth. During the ceremony, after laying on the crowning regalia and in preparation for anointing, red velvet was laid from the throne place to the Holy Doors, and on top of it, at the very doors where the sacrament was performed, was a golden brocade carpet, edged with gold braid. During the coronation of Catherine I in 1724, “the church floor from the altar to the throne” was covered with a brocade carpet, and in 1730, during the coronation of Anna Ioannovna, “two colonels laid velvet and brocade at the very Royal doors.” If communion was celebrated in the altar, another brocade carpet was laid out there, on which the emperor stood. After the coronation, these carpets were transferred to the Armory for storage and were subsequently used several times. After the coronation of Empress Catherine II, this carpet was given to the treasury, sewn “in three panels” of gold brocade “with bouquets of roses, forget-me-nots and other flowers scattered across it from various silks and silver” and trimmed with “golden gauze”. According to documents, it was laid out in the Assumption Cathedral from the pulpit to the Royal Doors – therefore, it was used to perform the sacrament of anointing.

Coronation dress

Russia, 1762
Brocade, silk, silk thread; sewing, applique, embroidery.
The coronation dress of Empress Catherine II was made in Russia in 1762. It is made of silver brocade in the Rococo style and consists of a bodice, a skirt with a circumference of more than five meters and a train 3 and a half meters long. The neckline and sleeves are decorated with thin linen “Brabant” lace. This is the only coronation dress, the main decoration of which was the image of the coat of arms of the Russian Empire. Almost 35 years of Catherine II’s reign are rightfully considered one of the brightest periods of Russian history – its “golden age”. Smart, energetic, European-educated, she made a significant contribution to the development of all aspects of Russian life, including its culture.

Medal for the accession to the throne of Empress Catherine II

St. Petersburg Mint, 1762
Medalists T.I. Ivanov (front side); I.G. Wechter (reverse side).
Silver; coinage.
On the front side is the Empress in a crown, dress, and an order ribbon over her right shoulder. On the reverse side there is an allegorical composition: two figures (allegories of Faith and Russia) hold Catherine’s monogram over the altar, which is crowned by a radiant maiden, personifying the Providence of God. The very first medal associated with the reign of Catherine II – the coronation medal – gave the empress a reason to think about the important role of medal art in the formation of the official ideology of her reign. It is no coincidence that two coronation medals were created during her reign. The first of them, for obvious reasons, was made hastily in 1762 and did not fully meet the requirements and plans of the Empress. Therefore, in 1767 I.G. Wächter created a second coronation medal depicting Catherine II as Minerva.

Medal in memory of the coronation of Empress Catherine II

St. Petersburg Mint, 1767
Medalist I.G. Wechter.
Silver; coinage.
The front side depicts the empress in armor and a helmet, crowned with the attribute of the goddess of wisdom – an owl. On the reverse side, Catherine II is presented in a coronation dress, sitting near the columns. In front of her is a kneeling woman – an allegorical image of Russia – supported by St. George. She presents the empress with a crown and a scepter on a pillow. The angel in the background points his right hand to heaven, where Providence, in the form of a woman with a scepter in her right hand, points with her left hand to the empress. Catherine II’s accession to the throne in 1762 was marked by magnificent coronation celebrations in Moscow. They were accompanied by a grandiose masquerade “Minerva Triumphant”, which proclaimed that the age of Minerva was coming in Russia – the age of justice, the flowering of sciences, art and wisdom. The same idea formed the basis of this medal in memory of the accession of Catherine II to the throne. There is no doubt that the medal was created with the direct participation of Catherine II. Through the language of allegories and symbols, the advent of an era of enlightened absolutism was proclaimed and, most importantly, the idea of ​​saving Russia after the palace coup of 1762, as a result of which Catherine II came to power, was affirmed. The Coronation Medal demonstrates the ability of its creators to embody and express the most important ideas of the time through inscriptions and a system of allegorical images. In addition, the medal could be reproduced many times, and a large circulation opened up the possibility of its wide distribution in Russia and abroad. It is no coincidence that gold and silver copies of this medal were inserted into the lids of snuff boxes and then presented to the main participants in the coup of 1762. In addition, Catherine II very often used this medal as a diplomatic gift.

Token in memory of the coronation of Empress Catherine II

St. Petersburg Mint, 1762
Silver; coinage.
The front side depicts the imperial crown in rays descending from the All-Seeing Eye. On top is the inscription: FOR LOVE OF THE FATHERLAND. Below the edge is the date: SEP. 22 DAYS. On the reverse side, under the imperial crown, there is an inscription in seven lines: CATHERINE II/ EMPRESS/ AND AUTODERTAINE/ ALL-RUSSIAN/ CROWNED/ IN MOSCOW/ 1762. The token came from the Ancient Storage in 1883.

Wine vessel in the form of a celestial globe

Vilnius, 1620s
Master Rudolf Lehmann.
Silver; embossing, casting, engraving, gilding.
A precious vessel in the form of a kneeling figure of Atlas holding a celestial sphere reflects the desire for everything unusual and magnificent, characteristic of the Baroque style. The figure of Atlas – one of the four titans, according to ancient mythology, supporting the vault of heaven, connects the heavenly world with the earthly one, which is indicated by the oval base of the vessel. This representative work was brought to Moscow by an embassy headed by Pan Stanislav Witovsky in April 1651 and presented as a gift to Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich on behalf of the Polish king John II Casimir. Atlant’s heel is engraved with a XNUMXth century inscription. indicating the number of the item in the royal treasury and weight. The original wine vessel was repeatedly decorated by the purveyor in the Chamber of Facets during coronations. It can be easily recognized among the items on the upper tier of the display in engravings depicting a dinner in the Chamber of Facets during the celebrations on the occasion of Catherine II’s accession to the throne, or in a photograph taken in connection with the coronation of Nicholas II. © 1997-2024 Federal State Budgetary Institution “State Historical and Cultural Museum-Reserve “Moscow Kremlin” 103132 Russia, Moscow, Kremlin The publishing house “New Literary Review” published the book “The Empress’s Dress. Catherine II and European costume in the Russian Empire,” written by historian, researcher and Sorbonne doctor Xenia Borderiu. We are publishing a fragment telling about the influence of Russia on the style of all of Europe. In 1777, the Swedish king Gustav III brought the idea of ​​costume reform from a trip to St. Petersburg. According to J. Grot, conversations with Catherine II and her changes in the field of court costume “encouraged” the Swedish king, who had long been considering the reform of the court costume.
Upon his return, he wrote in his “Reflections on National Dress”: “As for women, Russia provides us with a fresh example of the fact that their resistance to such an innovation is short-lived; there they willingly accepted the new clothes, making sure that they were both more comfortable and more useful. The Russian Empress, guided by those enlightened concepts that elevate her as much above her gender as above her contemporaries in general, and not wanting to imitate foreign customs any longer, has already returned the national costume to her court ladies.” The reform of 1778 introduced Swedish dress to all classes of society. It was not fixed by law, but took the form of an appeal from the king to his subjects with a call to follow his example. The next few decades were marked by a fairly wide spread of Swedish dress. Women’s dress as a whole did not deviate from the accepted forms; its national character was manifested only in colors and some details of decoration. And the men’s was “a costume, according to Gustav, similar to the one used by the ancient Swedes, but in essence reminiscent of theatrical characters.” The Russian Empress noted with her characteristic insight that the Swedish king was a fashionista: “I found that he [Gustav] was extremely concerned about his clothes and willingly spent time in front of the mirror.” Russian citizens learned about this reform from the St. Petersburg Gazette: “Sweden. From Stockholm, dated May 1st. Nowadays everyone comes to court in the newly installed dress. Gentlemen wear it in black and hot [scarlet], and ladies wear only black, with fleur-de-grass sleeves. The Royal Infantry Guards and other military corps stationed here also wear the new model dress.” In 1781–1782, the Northern Counts’ trip to Europe gave rise to a wave of passion for everything Russian. Interest in the distant and mysterious country was aggravated by the impression that the august travelers made: the public’s delight knew no bounds, even though there were opinions that the Grand Duke was not very handsome, and the Grand Duchess was not very slender. The Northern Counts surprised us not at all with their “exoticism,” but, on the contrary, with their “Frenchness”: with how educated, gallant, and benevolent they were. Orders placed by the Grand Duchess at the Gobelin Manufactory, the Sevryask Porcelain Factory, and the atelier of the milliner Rose Bertin involved the couple in an “advertising” mechanism in which the manufacturer, the product and the character representing it are inextricably linked. For example, before visiting the porcelain factory, medallions and sets with images of the Northern Counts were produced, and porcelain busts were made. These immediately fashionable items, in turn, contributed to the popularity of the august couple. Baroness Oberkirch, a childhood friend, accompanied Countess Northern on this part of the journey. On the pages of her memoirs, she left many notes testifying to the Grand Duchess’s interest in Parisian shops and her exquisite tastes in clothing, hairstyles, and accessories. However, not only in Paris, but also in Venice, Countess Northern showed a keen interest in the attire of local ladies. After the performance at the opera, she wanted to look closely at several sets of jewelry seen from afar on the ladies present in the hall. The arrival of the Northern counts enriched European fashion with new ideas and designs. We are talking about a style of clothing for children that Catherine II developed for her grandson Alexander, the future Emperor Alexander I. The Northern Counts presented a copy of such a suit to the French royal couple, and also presented it at several Italian courts. The suit did not restrict movement, made it easy and even unnoticeable for the child to put it on and, most importantly, it was specially created children’s clothing, and not a smaller copy of an adult one. Thanks to the empress’s letter to Baron Grimm, written in the summer of 1781, a sketch of this outfit has reached us. At the court of Versailles, he became famous thanks to the Countess of Northern in June 1782, that is, a year later. The style of Alexander’s children’s costume became known to Grimm earlier than at court, which makes its history remarkable. But, apparently, the popularity of the model among the capital’s residents is due precisely to the fact that it was a gift to the Dauphin. By his own admission, Baron Grimm allowed his friend the tailor Fago to copy a sketch from the empress’s letter. Grimm wrote to Catherine II about subsequent events with mixed feelings. The Baron expressed satisfaction that the invention of the Russian Empress was gaining popularity. At the same time, his indignation was caused by the tailor’s dexterity: having heard the story about the Countess of the North’s gift to the French royal family, the said tailor took credit for the inventor and even gave the name to the suit “a la Countess of the North.” The enterprising Fago used the advantages of this outfit to create a special women’s riding suit. It is probably the one that appears under the name “habit d’Amazone à la Moscovite” in an advertisement for a Parisian fashion store in the magazine Magasin des modes nouvelles. The Empress wrote about the costume as her personal invention, but there is reason to think that when creating this outfit, Catherine II was strongly influenced by English styles. She sent a child’s suit to Gustav III, and this is what an unknown author of notes writes about the events of 1778: “As the now dowager Queen of Sweden, the wife of Gustav III, was pregnant with the current king, the Empress sent such a preparation [child dowry] to Stockholm and added it to a dressed doll the size of a child, in order to show how children should be dressed à l’anglaise.” The costume preserved in Sweden is easily identified with Catherine II’s own sketch. The idea of ​​a kind of wraparound jacket is recognizable in the “a la Levite” dress model, fashionable in the late 1770s. The wave of fascination with Russia lasted in Paris for at least six months after the departure of the grand ducal couple, that is, until 1783. Paradoxically, the duration of this fashion was facilitated by Catherine II’s ban on French toilets at her court, in particular the issuance of decrees of October 23 and November 6, 1782, which became famous in Paris. From now on, the size of decorations on the dresses of court ladies could not exceed two inches (9 cm), and the width of skirts was also limited. Grimm jokes that this could have been a political miscalculation and complicated relations between St. Petersburg and Versailles, but instead brought new glory to the Russian Empress. Her wisdom was admired by the Parisian ladies, who just at the end of the year received bills from the milliners. At the turn of 1782 and 1783, the Russian empress was more popular than ever in Paris, and Grimm informed her about this. In 1787, a Russian-French trade agreement was concluded31 and the Russian-Turkish war began. In 1788, on the pages of the 13th issue of the French Magasin des modes nouvelles, an image and description of a dress a la the queen – robe à la Сzarine – appeared. Not only the previous, but also the immediate events of 1788 make this novelty relevant: the successes of Russian weapons in the Russian-Turkish war (victories at Khotyn, in the Battle of Ochakov) and the beginning of the Russian-Swedish war. Let us note that in the previous issue of Magasin des modes nouvelles the model “Karako in Swedish” was presented. The commentary text for the outfit image reads: The latest country that fashion recently visited is Russia; From there came dresses a la Tsarina. The dress a la tsarina, in which the lady shown in the 1st engraving is wearing, is made of apple-green satin and decorated with a collar made of figuratively cut gauze that rises in two rows, the same as on the sleeves. The puffy collar seems to be the only distinguishing detail of this dress compared to previously published models. Indeed, this is its only peculiarity, because the Russians try to follow the fashions from France in everything. The changes that Russian ladies make to their outfits have never been truly significant. Bonnet au Levain. Recueil general des coi ures de Paris. 1779 Under this dress, the lady presented wears a corset made of white satin, cut at an acute angle at the top, strongly elongated at the bottom and attached with ties at the back. The white linen skirt is cut at the bottom and covered with sheer pink satin. The dress is tied with a very long pink taffeta belt with figured gauze appliqués; The belt is tied with a bow on the side. For the first time, our women girded themselves with such a belt. The lady has a very fluffy scarf made of plain gauze around her neck, one end is discreetly fixed at the back, the other two are hidden under the corset in front. On his head is a hat a la Tsareen made of white gauze with golden polka dots. This hat is nothing more than an ordinary current; it is decorated with a headband made of pink and white polka dot satin, forming two large bows, front and back. The hat is decorated with two large white feathers, they are tinted pink in the center and green at the edges. The hair is curled in large curls. On each side, two rows of curls fall onto the chest, four in each row. Her hair flutters at the back, a la a councillor. Elbow-length white leather gloves. On the feet are shoes made of green satin, decorated with large rosettes made of white satin ribbon. The dress the lady is wearing is on display in a large store on the Rue Salle-aux-Comtes. In this store you can find the most beautiful clothes for women. From April the store will be located at 41 Manua Street. Thanks to minor finishing features and color combinations, this suit becomes “Russian” in the eyes of European fashionistas; the commentary asserts the identity of Russian fashions with Parisian ones. It is likely that this dress is nothing more than the result of the invention of a French milliner. But what’s more important in this case is the intention to advertise fashion using the “Russian” concept, and thereby be interesting to the French public. Along with the characteristic belt, previously unknown in Paris, the Russian aspect of this costume was the color. The combination of green and red was used in the outfit of the Amazonian company, which Prince Potemkin created on the occasion of Catherine II’s trip to Taurida. The leader of the Amazons, E. Sardanova, describes her uniform in her memoirs: “skirts made of crimson velvet, trimmed with gold braid and gold fringe, jackets of green velvet, also trimmed with gold braid; on their heads are turbans of white mist, embroidered with gold and sequins, with white ostrich feathers.” The color scheme refers to the colors of the Preobrazhensky Regiment, in 1774 by order of G.A. Potemkin established for all dragoon regiments. A.V. Kibovsky writes about the Amazon costume as a traditional Balaklava one.
Eight months after the meeting of eminent travelers with the Amazons (the Empress was accompanied by guests, including Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II and Prince de Ligne), Russian models appeared in French stores. Magasin des modes nouvelles advertised a women’s clothing store, the assortment of which included “a dress a la Tsarina, a caraco in Zealand, clothes a la Amazon in Moscow, a semi-negligee dress, a ballroom caraco in Holland and many other dresses.” To be fair, we note that in those years many pieces of clothing were called a la Amazon, and the type of such clothing itself had been known for a long time. However, it’s a completely different matter – Amazon in Moscow! The influence of military operations on the birth of new fashions and the dissemination of information about them is undeniable. In Europe in the second half of the 1770th century, wars were a regular occurrence; glorifying the military successes of one’s country by inventing a new hairstyle and hat was not only a fashionable gesture, but also a patriotic one. For example, one of the most replicated images of the turn of the 1780s and 1772s is the hairstyle à la Belle-Poule. It owes its origin to the events of the Revolutionary War in North America. Another example is the “Polish dress” (robe à la polonaise), which is extremely common in Europe. There is reason to think that the geopolitical changes of the era influenced the idea of ​​such a style. According to F. Boucher, “the Polish dress, it seems, was never worn in Poland,” but the time of its appearance in the wardrobe of fashionable ladies (no earlier than 1774 and no later than 1772) coincides with the first partition of Poland (XNUMX). Does the division of the overskirt into three parts, one at the back and two at the sides, symbolize the Polish lands divided between Prussia, Austria and Russia, the author wonders? Similarly, the Middle East direction of European policy is represented by styles, the appearance of which recorded the key events and stages of French-Turkish relations: à la levite, à la turque, à la sultane. The associations between women’s clothing and warfare, which are quite common in Europe, seem to be especially firmly established in Russia. “Long live our domestic goddess of fashion, which was caused by military actions,” wrote Fashion Magazine. In another issue we read: “. The main reason for these [our mods] is military action.” In 1795, a fashion publication offered the Warsaw cap and Suvorov cap to the attention of Russian ladies. The magazine did not mention the event that gave rise to these fashions, but for contemporaries the meaning of the new outfits was completely obvious. The source of inspiration was the suppression of the Polish uprising by T. Kosciuszko. In the fall of 1794, troops under the command of A.V. Suvorov took Warsaw. The fact that military-political events were covered by a fashion magazine within a few months suggests that its publication was not carried out without the participation of the authorities. The engravings are made in the form of “busts”, that is, the models are depicted from the waist up. The headdresses are small hats that vaguely resemble a soldier’s cap. Europe’s fascination with Russia was not fleeting. The magazine Magasin des modes nouvelles once again mentions Catherine II on its pages. One issue from 1789 featured a story about fashion, needlework, and the exchange of gifts between the Russian Empress and Voltaire. In response to the gift of the box, which Catherine II had made with her own hands, the philosopher sent her a personally knitted stocking. The philosopher explained his joke this way: in order to thank her for the man’s handicraft done by a lady, I presented her with a lady’s work done by men’s hands. This anecdote is at least half true: the empress’s letter dated December 19 (30), 1768, which accompanied the box, and Voltaire’s gratitude in a letter dated February 26, 1769 have survived to this day. A few years later, at the very beginning of the 1790s, “the Empress of all Russians and all hearts was definitely in vogue” in connection with the Peace of Verel, which ended the Russian-Swedish war of 1788–1790. The European fashion for Russian costume is a consequence of the empress’s popularity and an integral part of the French fascination with Russia and Russians. Catherine II stated with satisfaction: “. It’s funny that fashion comes from the north. It’s even funnier that the north and Russia are in fashion in Paris.” Is she not referring in these lines to Voltaire’s ode “C’est du Nord aujourd’hui que nous vient la lumière” (Today light [Enlightenment] comes to us from the North)?

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